The reality is that Congress retains the same potential for solving problems as at any point in its history, whether passing the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, or welfare reform in 1996 – both under divided government. What is required now is increased bipartisanship and consensus-building to revive such problem solving.
That’s why I have written a book, “Fighting for Common Ground: How We Can Fix the Stalemate in Congress.” I have also been speaking to audiences across the country to assure Americans that it hasn’t always been this way and that it is possible to bridge the divide to defeat the machinery of partisanship.
Attaining that victory is critical, as I have witnessed through the power of bipartisan teamwork. Shortly after I was elected to the Senate in 1994, West Virginia’s Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller and I teamed up to champion an amendment that launched the so-called E-Rate program – a landmark initiative ensuring every library and classroom in America would be wired to the Internet.